A California divorce can be a complicated, emotional, and expensive process. Before you file for divorce, here are some important issues you should understand.
1. Filing for Divorce is a Life-Changing Decision. Never let a heated argument or emotional turmoil guide your decision to get divorced. Although you can always withdraw a Petition for Dissolution after it’s filed, starting the divorce process may bring repercussions that you can’t reverse.
2. Family Mediation May be Your Best Alternative. Not all marriages end with a contested court battle. Statistics show the cases with the best outcomes usually take advantage of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation to resolve issues while maintaining a long-term civil relationship.
3. More Disagreement Means More Expense and Delay. No one truly wins a divorce case. Sometimes people want to fight about insignificant things just to irritate the other side. Don’t lose sight of what is important and how much a bitter divorce will cost you and your children in time, money, and emotional stress.
4. Always Put Your Children First. Remember, you and your partner are getting divorced, your children did not choose this path. Kids want to (and deserve to) to love both parents but if one parent disparages the other, the children are the ones caught in the middle. As an adult, you must put aside your anger against the other parent and encourage a healthy relationship with your children.
5. Don’t Rely on What Other Divorced People Say. Every relationship is different and every divorce case is unique. Even similar circumstances can lead to different outcomes depending on the state where the case is filed, the specific issues agreed upon or contested, the parties’ income levels and earning potential, number of children, assets and debts, and other relevant matters. Trust an experienced California family law attorney to understand your particular case and explain your potential outcomes.
6. Divorce Brings Long-Lasting Financial Repercussions. Dividing assets, selling a family home, splitting credit card and other debts, paying or receiving child support, and other financial responsibilities will impact you for years or decades to come. Avoid snap decisions and rely on professional financial guidance if needed.
7. You Must Disclose Extensive Information. Under California divorce law, spouses must provide documentation regarding their income, expenses, assets and debts, and update that information during a pending case. Create an inventory of your assets, take photos, and keep copies of important documents to protect yourself. Do not try to hide anything from the court or your attorney.
8. You are Not Legally Divorced Until the Entry of a Final Divorce Decree. Simply filing for divorce, or even reaching an out-of-court agreement, does not mean you are done. Until the divorce decree is entered, you are still married and could be incurring marital debt, acquiring marital community property, and can be held accountable for where marital income is spent. You should not start a new relationship before a final decree is entered.
9. Divorce is a Legal Proceeding and Must Be Taken Seriously. When you file for divorce you are placing your marriage and your future in the hands of a judge who may make decisions and will enter orders you must follow. Your future, and your children’s future, are at stake, so your earnest involvement is imperative.
10. An Experienced California Divorce Attorney Can Provide Protection and Guidance. While you are going through one of the most difficult experiences of your life, you need someone to explain what you will likely face under your circumstances. When you understand what you can expect, you are more likely to reach a reasonable settlement with your spouse and make better-informed decisions about the rest of your life.
Let An Experienced California Family Law Attorney Help
Attorneys Deirdre Kingsbury and Noreen Evans have vast family law and divorce experience, in and out of court. They listen carefully so they can understand your personal situation and explain your options to help you settle your case and preserve family harmony if possible. They will also vigorously advocate on your behalf, if necessary to protect you and your children. At Evans Kingsbury LLP we are family lawyers with decades of trial and negotiation experience. Call us today at (707) 596-6090 or fill out our easy contact form to discuss your case.